Felicity Huffman Breaks Down in Court During Sentencing Hearing: 'I Could Have Said No'

Felicity Huffman broke down in the courtroom as she spoke of her involvement in the college admissions scandal ahead of her sentencing. The Desperate Housewives star was sentenced to 14 days in prison Friday after pleading guilty to paying admissions consultant, William "Rick" Singer $15,000 in order to cheat on her daughter's SAT scores.

She began her prepared statement to the court apologizing to the judge, her daughters and her husband, William H. Macy: "I am deeply ashamed of what I have done," Huffman said, addressing the judge. "At the end of the day I had a choice to make. I could have said 'no.'"

Ahead of the judge's ruling, Huffman spoke before the judge and shared a story about driving her daughter to a testing center.

"I thought to myself turn around. Just turnaround," she said in the court, as first reported by CNN. She then broke down in tears adding, "and to my eternal shame, I didn't."

The actress described the conversation she had with her daughter Sophia after the scheme was made public. Huffman said her daughter asked, "I don't know who you are anymore mom? Why didn't you think I could do it on my own?"

She revealed she was afraid and called herself "stupid," before saying, "I take full responsibility. I will accept whatever punishment you give me."

Along with the prison sentence, Huffman also received a $30,000 fine, 250 hours of community service and one year of supervised release, announced by federal court Judge Indira Talwani Friday. The judge said in court Huffman knew what she was doing was wrong.

"She knew it was a fraud, it was not an impulsive act," the judge said. "Trying to be a good mother doesn't excuse this."

Talwani also addressed Huffman directly, saying, "I think you take your sentence and you move forward. You can rebuild your life after this. You've paid your dues."

CNN writes Huffman will have to report to the Bureau of Prisons on Oct. 25.


Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli were also involved in the nationwide scheme, allegedly paying funds to secure a spot for their daughters at the University of Southern California as recruits for the crew team. The couple reportedly rejected a plea deal and were given additional charges, facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted. They are expected to also appear in court later this year.